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November 11, 2017 - Dishonest Wealth

Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop

Scripture Readings

The Lord is hard at work teaching me how to ask for help more frequently.  I sat here reading the Gospel passage again and again trying to figure out what Jesus was saying.  He talked about dishonest wealth and I frankly had no idea what He meant, but I wanted to figure it out because the confounding part of Scripture seems to be the most appropriate part upon which to reflect.  So I read it a few more times and then, wham, it hit me!  Out from the recesses of my memory I was reminded that I own Scripture commentaries, so I turned to A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture for help.

Upon reading the commentary it became obvious to me that Jesus isn’t referring to wealth gained dishonestly, but that the wealth itself is dishonest, for it only provides for this life and not for the next.  The commentary further drew out the implication that to ‘make friends with dishonest wealth’ is to share the wealth of this world in an attitude akin to “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”  This is important, because in this passage, Jesus is setting the emphasis on material prosperity in contrast to an emphasis on spiritual prosperity, but for our purposes prosperity does not have to be limited to money.

Here is the challenge that is being laid out for us.  Examine your perceptions, what worldly fulfillments do you falsely associate with Spiritual well-being?  Is it wealth?  Health?  Respect?  Fame?  Comfort and Ease?  Happiness?  Belonging?  These are all good things, and when put in their proper place, can be used for the good, but what happens when Jesus desires to place something better in our hands?  Can you drop your dishonest and worldly version in order to accept the true and heavenly version when the time comes?  When your money disappears, your health fades, your respect wavers, and discomfort becomes the norm; when sorrows hit or you feel alone; will you be able to let go and take what Jesus is offering?

We are not puritans, we understand that earthly goods are good, but we must never forget that they are merely earthly.  Jesus desires to give us a share of the eternal life He purchased with His blood, will we be too busy pinching pennies?  He wishes to offer us everlasting joy, we will be too busy chasing the next thrill?  He wants to make our bodies temples of his Spirit, but are we already worshiping at the altar of me?  He offers us a role in building His Kingdom, will we be too busy building our sandcastles?

Lord, give us the grace to drop whatever we are clinging to, in order to cling to You.

- Spencer Hargadon